The Scarlet Letter: The A-word doesn’t apply when the Right People choose it for the Right Reasons

Campbell Grant's illustration for "The Scarlet Letter," from Richard Armour's 1960 "The Classics: Reclassified."

For Scott Walker, et. al., the word “abortion” refers to evil baby-killing performed on behalf of irresponsible sluts for unknown — but presumably evil and indefensible — reasons. The termination of a pregnancy by good, white, Christian people may be the same procedure, but since they’re good, non-slutty people, they get to call it something else. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (8.11)


Yolanda Pierce on the “cauldron of proslavery ideology” that shaped American theology. LBJ on the Voting Rights Act, 50 years before John Roberts killed it. John Oliver on sex education. Robert Chao Romero on “Montesinos and the Birth of Brown Theology.” And Tina Dupuy on guns and people who want to be “pro-life.” [Read more...]

Triple murder: ‘Ritualistic Presbyterian killing planned to coincide with the Blue Moon’


There was absolutely nothing about this crime scene that should have made any police officer or journalist imagine that this crime had anything to do with Presbyterianism at all. That’s just a nonsense claim fabricated out of whole cloth by a panicked sheriff who seems utterly ignorant about Presbyterianism and Presbyterians. [Read more...]

Sunshine don’t hold up to dark


“After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages … eating delicious pancakes.” Remembering the I in IHOP. Plus: The Stone Age lasted longer than a few generations; Alabama police should choose a more honest Beatitude; and say hello to the Gerry Adams of Operation Rescue. [Read more...]

It breaks my heart to hear you talkin’ this way


Why studying biology with the anti-science cynics of Wheaton College makes as much sense as studying medicine with the anti-vaxxer Catholic bishops of Kenya. Plus: Devils and aliens in Roswell and in print; what it looks like when you sell your soul; and a wrestling legend runs out of chewing gum for the last time. [Read more...]

Count your ribs and say your prayers and go to sleep


“35 Women Tell Their Stories About Being Assaulted by Bill Cosby, and the Culture That Wouldn’t Listen.” And along with their stories come the heartbreaking, horrifying stories from the #emptychair. Also: Dueling currency; the Mansplainingest Mansplainer Who Ever Internetted; and the human right not to be killed for playing the banjo naked. [Read more...]

Flying blind and looking for any sign of light


No spoilers, you guys, because I’ve just started watching — but is Christian Slater’s character on “Mr. Robot” a hallucination? Also: Mike Huckabee adds to his list of things that are like Hitler; DeGarmo & Key warn of the dangers of the New Age; and Rick Perry has apparently invested all his money in Netflix. [Read more...]

Rusty Houser hated women. He learned that at church.


I’m talking about the more fundamental teaching of John Russell Houser’s Southern Baptist church — the paramount religious and ethical teaching of that denomination, which says that women cannot and must not be trusted. Rusty Houser was shaped by a faith tradition that does not abide any question or challenge to its official required stance of legal and political opposition to abortion. His church taught him that women are immoral and untrustworthy, and — like Paul Hill and Scott Roeder — he took that teaching to heart. [Read more...]